RuPaul is an honoree of TIME magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World 2017“. He’s joined by other prominent figures for his category, Icons, such as Ashley Graham, Cindy Sherman, John Lewis, Fatou Bensouda and Viola Davis, to name a few.
RuPaul is a very positive influence, not just in the LGBT community, but to any one who seeks clarity, a life compass or practical approach to life’s many challenges. We need this kind of role model even more these days. If you’ve listened to his podcast, “RuPaul, What’s The Tee? With Michelle Visage“, you’ll walk away with plenty of life notes aside from the laughs. I must admit, the podcast has helped me deal with my own life challenges countless of times. It’s like therapy but without the disclosure.
Even from a very young age, as evident from various video footage recorded by the late New York videographer, Nelson Sullivan, he already posses the wisdom and the right attitude to tackle life head on. In fact, his mantras that are so popular today, like “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?“, goes way way back… back to the very beginning. It is amazing how he remains steadfast and true to his principles all these years.
TIME wrote, “For all of his accomplishments, TIME 100 honoree RuPaul’s approach to life is refreshingly light-hearted: don’t take yourself too seriously”, wrote Nancy Gibbs.
There’s no doubt that RuPaul has a huge influence in popular culture through his show, RuPaul’s Drag Race and other works. And I’m quite positive so many people look up to him, myself included. But his drag and music are just one thing… for entertainment, but it’s his accidental role as a life coach that really speaks volumes. I say “accidental” because I don’t think he consciously set out to assist people chart their life journey. But by sharing his experiences, his opinions and his wisdom, be it in the show, podcast, twitter, interviews, or meet and greets … he became… that. He is a great role model to have… for anyone, gay, straight or what have you. Because doing the right thing is gender-blind. I first meet RuPaul in person in Hollywood — I flew to Los Angeles from Vancouver, British Columbia, for a chance to meet him for a few minutes. I said to myself, “it’s now or never.” It turned out to be such an amazing and unforgettable experience. It was like meeting the Pope — I haven’t meet the Pope, but it’s how I imagined it would be to meet someone spiritual. And it was beyond how I thought it would be. To me, he’s the best example that if you do what’s right and stay true to your convictions, you’ll have a rewarding life.
An accompanying essay for TIME 100 by Naomi Campbell, entitled, “RuPaul”, is also a great read. See excerpt below.
“I first met RuPaul in the ’90s, when I was doing a shoot on 14th Street in New York City. As soon as I saw him, I wanted to know where he was going, because that was where I wanted to be.
Ru was different. Not just because he had perfect, precise clothes and makeup, or because he was the only man I knew who could look that good in a wig and heels. There were no rough edges to be found. But as I got to know him better, I got to experience firsthand his wit and his intelligence—he’s like an encyclopedia. And his beauty is far beyond skin-deep.”—Naomi Campbell/TIME.com
RuPaul’s Drag Con 2017 is just around the corner. If you plan to meet the “Pope” (my Pope), now is your chance.